Maycomb and Bookstores and Teenage Boy Readers and the Best Book Club I Know

An open letter to my book besties in the smallest most bestest Facebook Book Club ever:

You guys, you may not forgive me but here goes.

I haven’t read our book this month.

In fact, I probably won’t ever read Ready Player One.

I’m still working on Townie, a book I started on JUNE 8th (can you BEEELEEVE it’s taken me over a MONTH to finish this thing?) and can’t quite get to the end of, but I’m too close to the end to NOT keep going to the end.

And then…

We just had to go on and go to the bookstore in Homer yesterday and I saw my boy’s hands reach out in front of him and gravitationally lift toward Go Set a Watchman on the upper left corner of the top shelf and I watched his brain count up the money he had in his wallet and quickly realize that it wasn’t quite $27.99 so he sat right down and read four chapters in the half hour I shopped and took selfies with my book and chatted it up with the owner of the store.
065 (4)On our way home we checked the mail, and there it was, Go Set a Watchman, the copy I’d ordered last week from Amazon.

He wouldn’t let anyone else touch it and he didn’t put it down until twenty hours later at 4 p.m. today when he said:


Now THAT…was good.

067 (2)

I build my platform and I think of Jesus and I haul them to 4-H meetings and I sip my red wine and I make land deals this week but really…

I have to finish Townie.

Because I have to start Go Set a Watchman.


Because I see reviews that Atticus is a bigot and I hear the news that he and Scout had a blow-out and my man-boy-literary snob is snorting in the back seat and volunteering to stay and watch the truck while the rest of us do a library trip and I see his eyes get big over the edge of the new hardcover that smells so good and

my whole family is waiting for me to start Go Set a Watchman.

After reading To Kill a Mockingbird out loud to them on our big road trip in April…

How could I not read this to them in August?

How could I not read it to ME in August? Or this, the last week of July?

So between my mother being here from out of state and needing the attention of good company…

…and between our farm life being in full swing with fair prep and growing animals…

…and between the excitement of a new chunk of land that will cradle our homestead and even better a WHOLE ROOM FOR A LIBRARY…

…my stack of books seductively calls my name and as I dream of baskets of paperbacks that hold titles for yearly reading goals…at the top of the stack is our sweet Harper Lee with her hardcover that without knowing it, we’ve all been anticipating, and friends, I hang my head in book-club shame but I say it clear and I say it sure…

Ready Player One is never going to fit into my life.

I face it, own it, have come to terms with it, and now…

I’m telling you.

I bare my bookish soul and I face my bookish friends and I say I’m just not going to be able to read our book of the month, and even if I had time I wouldn’t because I can’t squeeze in one more book before I move on to Harper’s and it’s right there on the kitchen table while our other selection sits somewhere in the abyss of the Nook with the dark screen.

I won’t be able to chat and get excited and type answers in a bookish frenzy about the new favorite book we all love and the new favorite characters we all meet, and while I’ll miss that this month, I know you all understand.

Scout calls.

She’s right there.

Atticus beckons.

I can almost see him reading the newspaper in the parlor.

Maycomb begs entry and soon I’ll smell her streets.

And right after I finish Townie…

I’ll open the pages on this new one here and along with my boy…

…and his siblings and his dad…

….I’ll fall in.

What do you think?

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